Jazz Education Network: Grants for College Performing Arts

OVERVIEW: The Jazz Education Network invests in jazz arts through education, performance promotion, and developing new audiences. It does this in part by providing scholarships and other forms of support for post-secondary students concentrating on this genre.

IP TAKE: Institutional awards are not this funder’s priority, but jazz performers (and the occasional researcher) may receive scholarship awards to support their studies.

PROFILE: Established in 2008, the Jazz Education Network (JEN)  seeks to broaden the “jazz arts community” by increasing exposure to jazz music. JEN, completely dedicated to jazz, has become an international organization with a presence in all 50 states. To this end, the foundation “is dedicated to building the jazz arts community by advancing education, promoting performance, and developing new audiences.”

While its giving programs are not limited to higher education, JEN supports university jazz students and scholars as well as post-secondary institutions, all of which fall under the banner of Advancing Education. For high school and college students, JEN offers a number of different scholarships. Applicants may either nominate themselves or be nominated, and submit a single application that will be considered for any award for which they are deemed eligible. Current scholarships include: The David Baker Scholarship, for “a university student who demonstrates talent, spirit, and commitment to the field of jazz studies”; The Hal Leonard Collegiate Scholarship, for a “university student entering or continuing their collegiate jazz studies”; The Mary Jo Papich JEN Co-Founder Women in Jazz Scholarship “to honor Women in Jazz at the university level”; The Mary Ann Fischer Scholarship Award, dedicated “to support[ing] a deserving high school student bassist entering their collegiate jazz studies the following year.”

JEN also offers the JAZZ2U grants, sponsored by the Herb Alpert Foundation, “to assist in funding a speaker, clinician, or performer at any event that will bring jazz to new or existing audiences.” These small grants are available to “schools, community centers, and performances by quality performers and advanced educators,” but are only available within the United States. A more narrowly focused award is the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation/Jazz Education Network Research Fellowship (EFCF/JENRF). Developed in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institution, the fellowship provides between $1,000 and $5,000 to support related research using the Smithsonian's archival collections at the National Museum of American History in Washington. D.C.

Scholarships range from $1,000 to $3,000, and all applications are due in mid-September. JAZZ2U grants range from $300 to $500. All applicants must be a dues-paying member of the Jazz Education Network.

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